Warfare and weapons
Wars were frequent in ancient Hawai`i with chiefs attacking rival islands or battling rival factions on their own island. Although frequent, wars required months of careful preparation and were not undertaken lightly. A chief consulted advisors as well as kahuna, or priests, then drew his army from among lower-ranked chiefs and faithful warriors.
Armies fought their battles during daylight hours. Individual champions fought each other or whole armies battled. Women often accompanied the men into battle.
Hand-held weapons of wood and stone meant combat was close and fierce. Warriors used short and long spears for thrusting and throwing. Clubs were carved from wood or made of a shaped stone lashed to a wooden handle. Daggers were carved from wood but other cutting weapons were edged with shark's teeth. Tripping weapons - invented by Hawaiians - were made of a weight attached to a long cord that could be thrown and wrapped around an enemy's legs to bring him to the ground. Warriors used slings to throw stones with great accuracy from a distance.
Warriors trained rigorously and kept in top athletic form by competing in games like boxing, wrestling and foot races during peacetime. Many practiced lua or hula
, the two related traditions of martial arts and dance.
| Sites for further information|
There are no links available. Please help us by adding a relevant link to this page.
Report a broken link.